The End of Fair Weather
I place a bundle of white feathers in a drawer.
I gather cloud slips to give to a lover.
This is among the last blue-sky days.
The continent will soon go full centigrade.
Each day in winter will be a mirror
through which one may step, overdressed,
into record-breaking summer.
It’s not useless to call out
the name of a moth just gone
extinct, just as it’s not useless to sing
in a dead language
while frying eggs to start the day.
As in, either it is or isn’t useless.
Who here is qualified to decide?
I see the larkspur vanishing.
I see my jeans threading to skin.
In a dream, a lover tells me to start
a panic journal. I say, I don’t want these things
written down. She sends me the ocean
in a black envelope.
I see myself opening it
on a pixelated screen. I see my name
beside the word executor.
Beneath your skin, a flood
of glass is surfacing. It means I stay
alone for years
during your week
in the hospital. You breathe like rose
hips crushed, mouth too muddy
to believe. I’m one to talk—
the stylist asks if I want my lies
to show through. I wade into
a flooded pass. No doctors
attend to me. I dream your departure,
parting my hair
into a disguise.
The angles here are husks of sun
that melt and run off the roof edge.
My secret: I’m afraid
of being left
when this is over. When nothing is left.
In my next life, I live with a dog
in a valley painted blue. She sits
on my lap while I eat salmon,
peach, artichoke. She licks
the plate clean. For years I wore
any dress thrown my way,
loved anyone I saw crying, lived
in valved rooms. Erect
in my harness, I touch what touches
the point where my nerve comes
to an end. What’s the point? Pleasure
and pain are only a few
degrees removed. Lately, even upright,
I’m a sound-swollen horizon
lined with dead ends and cement.
Reservation at Cold Resort
It is time for the day’s report. The last peach tree
has died and along with it every natural
summer past this June. I try to save
you and fail. I walk to the corner in the heat
to undress. Instead I buy a mountain
of shiny limes,
they mold immediately.
I steal a carton of grass, unripe bananas,
swollen mangoes, verdigris
from an alley. Love, it’s about
to rain again. You should believe me.
After all, you’re the one
on fire. From between two glass panes
I slide out an overgrown live oak
whose lungs could suck up a galaxy.
Your hair fills with ash, but you don’t
seem to mind. I look at dozens of images
of Jupiter’s moons. I rename all of them
Johanna. Sometimes I still think of your back
cool beneath the circles of my palms.